Super Smash Bros. 3DS

smashbros-3ds

I have a pretty big backlog of blog posts that I need to get around to writing, I’ve played a lot of stuff that I have yet to really talk about. So today’s topic is: Smash Bros.

I absolutely LOVE this series thought I am by no means a competitive player. Just having fun and playing is my only objective so you will likely never find me playing those “items off, final destination only” matches. I just don’t see the point at all but kudos to whoever enjoys that. Anyway, Keen and I have very much enjoyed the series ever since the N64 days but I have yet to convince him to pull the trigger on the 3DS version. So please if you could pressure him into that it would be fantastic.

The Controls

This is a pretty big question on people’s minds, at least it was on mine. I had no idea if the 3DS circle pad and buttons would in anyway feel right when controlling a Smash Bros. game and as it is now I am torn. I still feel scared that I’ll break something and all of the horror stories and pictures out there don’t alleviate that at all. I grip my controllers very tightly, especially in intense situations. So having to dial back on this and get used to not thrashing a control stick around was a bit of a challenge. Mainly at first it affected my ability to input commands and even accurately move my character but over time I was able to adapt and I feel I am able to control the game fairly well, though probably not on the same level as with a controller in my hands. So really I wouldn’t say that this is a problem with the game on the 3DS so much as it is with me. Even so I imagine there will be a learning curve or adaptation period for everybody.

The Visuals

I gotta say that I’m really impressed with how the game looks and runs on the system. There doesn’t seem to be a single hitch and everything looks great. There are actually several levels that look especially cool with the 3D effect turned on.  There also doesn’t seem to be any kind of performance hit with the 3D on and that’s pretty impressive. It makes me wonder what they could have accomplished if they didn’t do any 3D visual effect at all. My only real complaint with the visuals would be that sometimes, though only on some levels, things can get pretty zoomed out when fighters are far apart. It’s probably a much bigger issue on a classic 3DS but I’m on an XL so that’s saying something.

The Fighters

Pretty much everybody that I cared about has returned to the game. I am a little bummed that with Charizard being on his own and no longer tied to Pokemon Trainer it means Squirtle and Ivysaur got the boot but it’s not that big of an issue. It’s also really interesting that they separated some characters from their transformations. Sheik and Zelda are now separate fighters as well as Samus and Zero Suit Samus. The new characters are a welcome addition and I actually really love playing as PACMAN and Little Mac. There are also some neat secret fighters but I wont mention those since some people like the surprise. Unfortunately there is no Skullkid, though. I had secret hopes that he would be added, especially since Nintendo has been teasing us with Majora’s Mask stuff for a while now. The addition of Shulk is really cool and a bit of a surprise. I’m actually really glad that they chose to do that and hopefully it means we will get the 3DS2.0 release of Xenoblade Chronicles in North America. It sure feels like we started getting a lot more Fire Emblem games after Marth and Roy showed up.

The Stages

There are a lot of neat new stages and even a few returning favorites. I’m REALLY disappointed that Hyrule castle is missing but at least they got the Star Fox level that I’m fond of. There is a really neat Kirby stage that replicates the look of Kirby’s Dreamland on the original GameBoy and that whole thing is one giant piece of nostalgia for me. My favorite new stage would probably be the Punch-Out arena. It’s just awesome.

Game Modes

There are several different game modes for you to play through with Smash on 3DS. There’s the classic “Smash” mode where you can pick levels and set rules, bots, etc. The item switch is here but curiously the item frequency adjuster is not. That’s kind of a big deal for me. You can also Smash with other players locally as well. The Classic mode has you pick various paths that lead to fights like 1 on 1, FFA, Giant Enemy, Metal ____, Multi-Man, etc. Pretty much just like in previous games and it all ends in a battle with Master Hand or MH and Crazy Hand. On harder difficulties you even encounter something else.  Aside from the basic battle options there’s also the training mode, Home Run, and a new form of target breaking that kind of resembles Angry Birds.

The new mode which is, I believe, exclusive to the 3DS version is Smash Run. At least I think that’s what it’s called… I’d have to double check. So it’s kinda of similar to the Subspace Emmisary stuff from the previous game but a lot shorter. Over a few minutes time you run around a map with 3 other opponents and fight different bad guys from across Nintendo games. Defeating them and opening chests will net you stat bonuses and after time is up the final battle begins. I’ve played several of these but the only final battles I’ve encountered are either a traditional fight, a multi-man contest, or a foot race. You can also find trophies and other goodies throughout the mode. In all I’d say it’s somewhat fun but not really by yourself. I’m not entirely sure if you can play with other people locally but you can’t online.

Online Play

There seems to be two ways to play Smash Online: For Fun or For Glory. In the first no stats are recorded and all of the levels, items, smash balls, and fun things are turned on. In For Glory there’s no items and every level is a flat final destination variant and no fun is allowed at all. I guess that’s where the “competitive play” is but from what I hear it’s just incredibly broken, especially since ever level is flat and Little Mac is an absolute beast on the ground.

The game runs surprisingly well online, at least when the lag isn’t bad.  I didn’t think it would work well but it really does play nice most of the time. There are a few matches where the game lags and everything starts to slow to a crawl, though. Those are absolutely horrible. You kind of have to stick it out though because if you disconnect you get put in a time out for ten minutes. Bleh.

Final Thoughts

I like the 3DS version of Smash and I’ve glad I decided to purchase it, even if I’m planning on getting the Wii U version anyway. Definitely a lot of fun to play though more-so with people you know, hint hint. It’s pretty crazy, really. My younger self never dreamed that we would have a portable Smash Bros. game but here it is. The future is here! Today!

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